Jesus Cruz wanted to capture the moment of his first child's birth, so he left his wife, Yazmin, at the hospital and raced home to grab his camera an hour before the new year.
Dad made it back in time to see son James become Orange County's first baby of 2002.
But he didn't get the shot--he left the camera in the car.
James, all 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 21 inches of him, was born at 12:19 a.m. at Santa Ana Hospital Medical Center, a week after his Christmas Eve due date. He and his mom, who also has a 5-year-old son, are doing fine.
"That's your Christmas gift," Yazmin Cruz, 24, had told her 20-year-old husband, a shift leader at a Jack in the Box restaurant.
Instead, the Santa Ana couple received a New Year's gift.
"It didn't really matter," Jesus Cruz said. "I just wanted him to be here."
Minutes after James was born, Orange County's first twins of 2002 entered the world by emergency caesarean section at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton.
Peyton Renee Steen--3 pounds, 7 ounces, 15 1/2 inches--arrived at 12:25 a.m. She was followed a minute later by Megan Denise at 2 pounds, 11 ounces and 14 inches.
The girls, who were born early at 33 weeks, were fine but under observation in the hospital's neonatal intensive-care unit, hospital officials said. The twins are the first children for Jake and Shannon Steen of Anaheim Hills.
"They're excellent," said Jake Steen, 29, who works in finance. "It's a great thing of nature."
He said his wife, a 30-year-old dance instructor, had been on bed rest for the last several weeks to prevent labor.
"So we were ready for this," he said. "If you're ever ready for this."